Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dog Days Are Over Haven S3E02 Stay

I'll start you all off with a theory that arose while we were waiting for the ep: maybe Vince and Dave are the town, in some way. They're certainly the only recurring characters who don't have a Trouble we know about at this point. Though that may be about to change with the addition of a new character or two. First two seasons, all the non-Troubled are: a) extras b) biologically related to a Troubled person or c) married to a Troubled person.

And now you know what Kitty and I do when we're muttering at the clock. One of these days we'll toss up a quoteboard as a behind-the-scenes post, because we get so very punchy on Friday nights.

On to the episode! We were spoiled for this, but I'd like to think that between the feral, the broken rope, and the overall canine body language, we would've figured it out sooner rather than later. Fairly standard introduction to the Trouble of the week, as standard as such things ever are in Haven, and then we cut to Duke and Audrey, having the kind of quiet early morning coffee that's going to make Nathan jealous in a few seconds. He makes bad jokes, because Duke's coping mechanisms are incredibly predictable and also terribly adorable. Audrey, seated and still, as she tends to be when not in times of crisis and also to some extent when stressed out; Duke standing and fidgeting and sitting and pacing and he's gonna make me seasick if he keeps this up. Discussion of the metaplot, and this is actually shot like two close friends, not like lovers. Not that that matters to Nathan, but I mention it here because the body language isn't at all that of lovers. Maybe a little bit of Duke's crush showing, but nothing they can't both ignore. Unlike Nathan, who will now freak everyone out by seeming to be a manwere or a prowler, depending on if you're the audience or Audrey and Duke. Duke, you're showing how much you care again. And I love his smuggler "okay, anything can be used as a weapon" attitude. (Quick. Name everything in the room that can be used as a weapon.) They are, of course, tenser than usual in the immediate sense because they're talking about the Colorado Kid and this vague looming deadline that they haven't figured out yet, but after last week it's entirely valid to assume the worst until proven otherwise.

A wild Nathan appears! I'd say good, except this is going to lead to an infinite of jabbing at each other. Boys, it would be nice if you stopped fighting, because that's NOT helping Audrey. At all. Especially that little jab about the locks, c'mon, Nathan, he is her landlord and he's doing his damn job, give the guy some credit. And yes, shockingly, Audrey trusts both of you, now put it away. God these scenes are just getting more and more awkward. Nathan has a point here about maybe Duke being the Hunter; that was Kitty and my first thought at the end of last week. Or at least, whatever Crocker is currently alive and Troubled. And by the looks on Audrey and Duke's faces, they have to admit to themselves that it's a plausible explanation. But I really want Audrey to get a two by four to knock them out and then a measuring tape for the dick waving contest they're having. "Until you kill somebody?" Nathan. What is WRONG with you this season. I mean, above and beyond the obvious. Sadly, Audrey's just twitchy about all the tension and trying to be nice to Duke to make up for Nathan's asshattery, only it doesn't work so well when you're asking him to do something he was almost assuredly going to do anyway. The boys have one last measuring contest, and this is why you don't leave them unsupervised, Audrey, they're like fucking toddlers. Nathan really can't say anything to Duke's determination to find answers for Audrey, though he obviously wants to. Can't meet Duke's eyes, either. I have to admit, as sheer helpfulness goes on a big-picture level, Duke's beating Nathan all hollow. And Nathan's getting really overprotective, which, dude, if this is how you act with women you want to date, no wonder you've been single so long, Nathan. I would kick your ass.

More evidence of the overprotective in the scene which introduces Audrey to the Trouble of the week! Though part of that I think is Nathan going "ew, do I have to give up my coat to a filthy feral Troubled man?" Yes, you do, you should know by now that when Audrey gets her teeth in a Troubled case that she's not going to put it down. And that she's going to be perhaps more compassionate than is advisable. And actually this would've gone very well, I think, had the idiot shop owner not intervened. LET THE COPS DO THEIR JOB. SIR. BACK AWAY FROM THE MANWERE. Some people's children, I swear. But of course we can't have a potential resolution that fast, and we have to show that the manweres could be evil, or could just be severely Troubled. Nathan doesn't quite manage to get to the store owner first, which I think is mostly because he doesn't want to leave Audrey without backup. Unfortunately, that's going to cost them. As we learn, this is... well, pretty much what a dog would do, especially a feral one but not necessarily solely, when threatened. Only because this is a manwere he can actually go straight for the jugular, rather than somewhere on the legs. (Granted, the femoral artery wouldn't have been much of an improvement, but it's marginally more difficult to hit on the first try.) Nathan's assigned body duty while Audrey runs off to try and capture the manwere, for all the good that's not going to do. And cue credits, so that we have a nice passage of a short period of time cue where it turns out that no, that really was the jugular, sorry, store owner.

Dwight being here makes sense, of course, he's doing crowd control while Audrey and Nathan examine what little evidence they have, deal with the uniformed officers and the EMTs, and otherwise secure the crime scene. Though sadly we don't get to hear what his excuse for this one is. At first it doesn't entirely make sense that Duke's here, but as we move past the "small talk" (which isn't exactly small, it's a deliberate lead-in) it's obvious that he's picking Dwight's brain. Ballsy move, considering that they're not at all friendly. Dwight in particular really dislikes Duke, I think more because of his Trouble than because of who Duke is himself. Then again, Dwight doesn't know a whole lot beyond that, so I can grant him some leniency where I'm just pissed at Nathan for not stopping to think for a second about the difference between a person and their Trouble. I also kind of wonder if Dwight knows something about Simon Crocker, to make him this wary. Possibly propaganda from his days in the Guard. Adam Copeland, give Fassbender his teeth back, that's creepy. And good acting. And did I mention creepy? Closemouthed at the best of times, here he's downright monosyllabic. Literally, until he threatens Duke at the end of their little altercation. Judging by his later reactions, I'm guessing he doesn't actually know what the Hunter is, or he wouldn't be willing to help Duke look. We can also tell that some of his dislike is over having been out-machoed by Duke's Trouble; Dwight has a fairly low-grade macho tendency especially for someone his size, but getting thrown like that would do some nasty things to his sense of self. Because part of the more usual lack of posturing is because he's confident in his ability to follow through, and with Duke he knows that's no longer true.

It's a good try, though, and it gets us progress later on, so I'll take it. Even with the creepy looming toothy Dwight who's not technically showing any teeth but will, yes, rip your throat out. Callback intended, since Kitty and I have always looked at him and gone "wow, he's like a big puppy. big dangerous puppy."

Establishing shot of Nathan and Audrey in the station, dealing with basic procedural stuff. It never ceases to amaze me how much they've normalized the standard checks to rule out non-Troubled explanations, and how little that takes these days. This is largely to set us up for Claire Callahan's entrance, though. And as much as I like the basic premise they're setting up here, I don't understand why it's taken them six months (or so) to get to this point. If Claire's not with the Guard or some other ominous group with ulterior motives, then this is very poorly set up, because there are all kinds of reasons that Audrey and Nathan should both have been required to go see a shrink before now. At least by police/insurance standards, which is what gets flung around as a flimsy excuse like a laceweight shawl. I'd like Claire a lot better were she not a psychiatrist (which, by the way, you guys? not the same thing as a psychologist, which is PROBABLY what you should be going for here), because the kind of bashing people with a cluehammer she's doing is a necessary role. Just not one someone in her job should be fulfilling in this manner. AT ALL. Bad shrink, no cookie. We'll get to ranting more about this later; for now I'll just note that Audrey does a thorough job of brushing the shrink off., I'm not done. There's the spiel about how normally she'd be willing to let it take six months, "but we don't have that kind of time." Um. My dear Dr. Callahan, what the FUCK do you know about the Troubles and how this town works and WHAT ARE YOU NOT TELLING US. And she's officially on my Not To Be Trusted list now. Dammit, I really like the concept, it's a pity she's likely to turn out to be working at counter-purposes to Audrey. I'd say evil, except there's very little so black-and-white as all that in this show. Audrey questions what the hell Claire means by not having time, which gets her a nice dodge by way of letting some information slip that, frankly, any person who's not got their head in the sand about the past six months could have figured out. Before Audrey can press the point, Nathan shows up, which is her cue to snark. Extensively. I think the boys are a bad influence on you, Audrey. (Pretend I said that with a straight face.) Nathan points out that it's not a bad idea, though his examples of mentally unstable behavior really don't qualify. Giving his coat to a Troubled person is normal Audrey behavior (well, to someone she believes to be Troubled), and letting Duke take point on the intruder alert is a valid form of hypervigilance after being abducted. Not just valid, but probably healthier than taking point herself, because she might have actually stabbed Nathan. I mean, Audrey seems pretty stable from the outside after that? But she's damn good at concealing her emotions and I would assume she's self-aware enough to distrust her responses right now, knowing them to be likely disproportionate. And who wishes they'd been a fly in the car with them for THAT conversation? Yeah, I thought so.

And cut to the barn for more naked manweres! I am really surprised they got all of this past the censors, I'm just saying. This is more of what I'd expect out of HBO, not SyFy. Standard horror tropes are, by now, par for the course for watching Haven. I understand why Nathan leaps to the assumption that the dead canid in the barn is Jesse, but it's not right and honestly that looks a little more like a fox or coyote. I'm not looking too closely and you can't make me. (Which is probably Nathan's reason for making assumptions without confirming the evidence. Because ew.) Down to the cellar in the barn, and that is a LOT of naked manweres. Quite rightly, they back the hell out so they can discuss strategy and so Audrey can lampshade the whole thing some more about how "they may be Troubled but they are people." Thanks for that, guys. This would, again, work better if it weren't for the civilians, though our Troubled man does his best to help. Unfortunately I kind of suspect that it's his presence near the barn that helps wake the manweres up in the first place.

Duke would like us all to believe that he doesn't speak cop, which is just directly untrue, that's a valuable skill in his line of work. He doesn't speak lack of antecedents, though, which I'll give him, and knowing more about the situation will help him help Audrey. At least in theory. Not that he has the first clue about how to contain such a husky manwere. Yes, you may throw things at me for that pun. But Dwight does! That's his job! Also Duke is kind of a troll like that; I assume Dwight's turned up in response to reports of said naked fish-eating man. Not that we know for sure, because we just get a classic "oh not again" look before we cut back to the barn. And for those of you who weren't following Twitter, this would be the point at which Copeland made a truly awful joke about wrestling mostly naked sweaty men, just like at his last job. There was facepalming.

Meanwhile the kid clambers into a conveniently kid (or dog) sized entrance to the barn, because kids and doing what they're told when their pet is missing are not exactly two things that go together. And because all of Audrey and Nathan's experience of the weremen so far is that they're dangerous, of course we have a scene of them freaking out and running after him. Controlled freaking out, because they're still cops and they have a job to do, but nobody likes it when a kid's in danger. Cue standard NO DON'T SPLIT UP moment, c'mon, Nathan, have you never seen a horror movie? Though it doesn't end as badly as all that, given that these are Our Heroes and it's only the second ep of the season. This is a very long scene mostly designed to show us pack behavior, feral pack behavior at that, and drive the point home to the audience if not to Our Heroes (yet) that these are dogs turned into men, rather than anything else. Which means there's someone Troubled out there causing this, not that there are Troubled dogs. That would be a whole other problem. I have no idea how they learned to wear clothes that fast, or for that matter where all those clothes came from for sure. Some I would accept as having been in the barn, old ratty work clothes that haven't quite been thrown away, but enough to clothe a full pack of dogs? Hmm. Still, that's most likely a censors issue rather than a Watsonian issue, so I'll let it go. Aside from the wearing clothes, unless there's some holdover memory from seeing people wearing clothes when they used to be dogs? Which is a loose explanation based on Nathan saying that Jesse learned to use a gun because he saw Nathan do it. Anyway. Pack behavior, Jesse playing what would appear to be the alpha role (and may at one point have been, who knows) but turns out to be more likely that the others simply know better than to fuck around with a rabid manwere. Because really.

I should note that for the longest time Kitty and I assumed that the shy, bandanna-wearing manwere was Jesse, because that made sense based on the available data. Audrey begins to put together the data, figures that offering food is a safe bet whether or not she's right, and soon-to-be Cookie is all shy and adorable. To his everlasting credit, Nathan not only uses nonlethal force on Jesse trying to break down the door, he aims quite deliberately for the leg when the rest of the pack comes to confront him. And again with the blatant pack behavior/threat display. The pack runs off into the field, Audrey guards the man with the bullet hole through his thigh while Nathan gets the father, and we get a fairly standard gruff-because-terrified reunion between father and son. Cleanup commences!

Oh look. It's the Teagues. Clearly nothing can go wrong with this scenario. No, wait, Vince went and stole the autopsy report. VINCE. BAD. That's crossing some lines even for them, or at least, as far as we know it is. Dave calls him on it, though I question Dave telling anyone that he's out of control. There's a number of things that could be upsetting Vince here, from the bolt gun to the people-as-livestock aspect, but I think what pisses him off the worst is that whoever this person is, he knows more about the Kid. The rest is just extra, though the way Vince talks about the bolt gun may indicate in-show significance to the Teagues that we have yet to see. I will note here that a bolt gun still implicates Dwight or someone with his Trouble rather heavily, and yet I just can't buy it - frankly, at this point, because it's screaming setup. I'm quite certain Dwight's capable of killing; he was a soldier. I'm also quite certain he's capable of a great many things when defending himself, his people, or his turf, but we haven't seen a clear and present threat to any of those as yet. Dave will now put down his show (and I'm pretty sure it's for show) of righteous indignation and dive into the data. Yeah, somehow I don't think Vince would've yanked the report and brought it over if it hadn't shown such interesting things.

Audrey keeps trying to get the manwere to talk, which is just not gonna happen, none of them are used to having a hyoid bone yet. Probably a good thing. Claire turns up and they trade more jabs and is it just me or are they deliberately mirroring Nathan and Duke here? With the bickering and the getting under each other's skin at the drop of a hat. Also with Claire not telling Audrey information that could get Audrey off her back first thing, but allowing them to bicker and get under each other's skin, or at least partially. Claire is definitely sensitive about being young and people perceiving her as untried; I would say that's a genuine reaction even if her reasons and motives aren't. Kitty and I both kind of want to smack some sense into her about her attitude toward social workers, though I think that's also a response to what Audrey perceives the usefulness of any form of psychology to be. She should know better, too, since she's been using any number of psych tricks to handle the Troubled in town; just because she's not trained doesn't mean she's not using them. Mutter grumble. That is the flimsiest damn excuse for following Audrey around to see her in action, Claire. The flimsiest. But Nathan will let her get away with it, because he hopes she can help Audrey and frankly because Nathan's kind of an idiot about perceiving women as threats. Which is probably why whoever sent Claire did so.

Off to the harbor with the naked fish-eating man, now trapped in the cab of Dwight's truck. As the five people stand around and debate what the hell to do with him. Point of interest, at the end of last ep we had Vince, Dave, Dwight, Audrey, and Nathan standing around graveside, and this ep we have Dwight, Audrey, Nathan, Duke, and Claire standing around the truck. I'm beginning to wonder if there's a pattern to the groups of fives, although I would need to go back to last season to see if there's other groups of five going on. You can bet we'll be looking for it now, though. Maybe there's some Troping going on with the five-man band? Moving along. Dwight gives Duke shit about not helping with the manwere, though in this case I blame neither of them for the mild sniping, really. Anyone who's stronger than Dwight is cause for concern, obviously. And I and Kitty and probably the rest of creation would dearly love to know when and why Dwight got a truck with no buttons to unlock it from the inside. Useful as a cleaner, sure, but also plenty dangerous. That's a useful comment there, highlighting that dogs do not, in fact, generally think about how to break out of cars except through the windows, which should ideally be rolled down. Aaand Audrey gets grabbed! Duke, as next closest and in some ways I think cranky about not being able to protect Audrey on a day-to-day basis the way Nathan does, is there first. Possibly he also anticipated this. One solid punch later and everyone (except Claire, at least not visibly) gets to twitch over Duke going all white-eyed and super-powered. Including Duke. Nathan reaches for his gun, prompting me to realize that Dwight hasn't worn a vest all season and then to shout at the screen not to DO THAT around the bullet magnet. Fuck's sake. I would love to know why he's not wearing his vest these days, given the way the Troubles are increasing and the fact that he can't always assume that he'll be able to avoid all the shooting. Dwight tenses, shifts his stance to take on a super-powered Duke, presumably because he's the one best suited for it, only... nothing happens. Except for Duke swearing and twitching a lot and then hoping like hell that this means he can, I don't know, beat his Trouble by force of will? Sorry, honey, it was a nice idea but Occam's Razor says the guy isn't actually Troubled. Which makes more sense, I will add, that a bunch of naked men running around Haven are under the influence of someone else's Trouble than that a whole bunch of people have the same Trouble. (Kitty adds: Unless the Troubled Patient Zero is one of the naked men, and he's running around making other men like him. Multiple choice Trouble sources!) We don't see Dwight's reaction as much after this, not until after we get the reveal that the guy Nathan shot was tranqed full of animal tranquilizer, thank you, Claire. I love that Duke's first guess as to who she is is "another Audrey Parker," and that this is not at all out of the bounds of reason for Nathan and Audrey, who just kind of shrug and go yeah, that's Duke. Finally we get a pull-back shot in which we see Dwight watching Duke with a very assessing look, trying to fit this new data into his picture of the man.

At the pound, we have our first incidence this episode of "Escape to Haven" graffitied on the dumpster outside. With the hashtag sign, even. Sneaky showrunners. And then a truly gruesome scene where they briefly debate whether or not this could be the dogcatcher doing horrible things to people. Which is certainly possible from a human behavior standpoint, but as Claire points out, those drugs would probably not make a group of people all behave like this. Particularly not such that they all acted the same way, more or less, because drugs given off-label (off-species, or at least current species, in this instance) generally affect different people differently. So, no, this is a Trouble, but it's good that they keep checking their assumptions. And ow. And also ew. I can't blame Claire for finding somewhere else to be at that point. Nathan, for whatever reason, still doesn't get it, but Audrey does, and that's a horrifying answer on so many levels. Claire discovers the body! While she may be frozen from fright, she's also not fucking up the crime scene any further, which is useful. Nathan and Audrey will explicate one of the levels on which this is horrifying, which is that they now have human brains and will only get smarter if the Trouble isn't stopped. Yay.

Dwight and Duke are teaming up now! Much more yay. Though Duke has quite reasonable concerns about why the hell Dwight would be helping him, especially after the teeth and the looming and the massive fuckoff vibes. Pun intended. The looming and the teeth will come in handy here, though, in an effort to get the creepy brothers to fess up! And Dwight admits to being wrong about Duke without actually saying it outright, aww, boys. He also avoids the word Trouble, I'm not sure why but even considering saying it looks like it leaves Dwight with a bad taste in his mouth. Possibly Guard-related, possibly something else related. We don't know yet! Isn't it great? (Actually I'm enjoying it, because I have greater faith in Haven writers to give me data that I don't have to fold, spindle, or mutilate to eke out all the available pieces. Unlike certain other TV shows I could name. It's not that much more blatant, there's just fewer damn moving pieces as compared to Grimm. Easier to keep track of.) I would, however, love to know what Duke means when he says "it's not my problem." Probably just that he's refusing to make full use of it, but there's a certain level of denial in there that worries me. The computer screen that is significantly turned toward the audience as the boys walk into the Herald has that damn hashtag again, in case we missed it the first time. I have the sneaking suspicion they're reading something about the Kid in there, but what I'm not sure. Or that the book is significant somehow. Not that Dwight and Duke care, they'd just like their information about the Hunter now, please. We pause to snicker about how that half-gate comes to just above Dwight's knees, and I poke around wondering what the hell kind of reference Ardles and James Bartles and James is, since my pop culture knowledge base and my googling fail to yield anything high-profile enough to make sense. (ETA 11/21/12: A clever reader tells us that Bartles and James are characters from a wine cooler commercial from the eighties. The More You Know!) I still haven't the foggiest idea what side Dwight's taking in all of this, especially since he was working with Vince as recently as a week ago. Maybe just any side that isn't the Guard and seems to be trying to genuinely help the Troubled? The brothers, of course, plan to give them nothing that could be useful, which I assume doesn't mean give them nothing nothing, just, give them a lot of useless crap to wade through. Dave is especially twitchy about giving out data. And yet again, I wonder about the interactions various people in Haven had with Crocker senior. The brothers still suck at lying, something of a reversal from previous seasons, which is a pretty clear indication that they've been relying on the town's amnesia to help protect their secrets and now that it's failing they're at something of loose ends.

Back at the animal shelter, we see that the hashtag has miraculously disappeared from the dumpster. I'm assuming that wasn't a mis-set and was intended to be exactly as creepy as it is. Which is very. Audrey and Nathan start poking around the dogcatcher's computer; Claire, to her credit, isn't quite as uncomfortable as many civilians would be with a corpse still in the room. Not happy about it, the crossed arms, fidgeting, and frown are good indicators, but not incapacitated by it. And the reveal! Tor's Trouble, or Liam's, as they finally find the connection. Nathan clearly disapproves without knowing Tor's reasons for dropping off the dog without telling his son, which makes me wonder about things the Chief may or may not have done in Nathan's childhood. Or just, an emotionally unavailable father who's not big on explaining himself, which would do it all on its own. Over to confront Tor, regardless, who's defensive as most people would be when they did something they're ashamed of but have justified as necessary. It starts raining as we get a confession to the onset of his Trouble, which is not symbolic at all. Of course not. They would never do that. And other protestations. But he still doesn't tell them why he dropped Jesse off at the pound, which would be really useful data right about now. Meanwhile, Claire decides that someone should go check on the kid - possibly because the kid got himself in trouble once before, possibly because she wants to double-check their assessment as the father being the Troubled one against the son's recollection of the past 24 hours or so. Possibly both, she seems like the kind of person who can multitask her motives.

Rather than sticking with this, we cut back to the gruesome foursome in the Herald reading old back-issues. It's remarkably domestic, right up until Duke runs across the picture of Lucy and starts twitching. Dwight has a really funny look on his face that I can't quite read, but I wonder if he recognizes Lucy from when he was a child, and just hadn't made the connection because he was so young when she vanished and the hair and mannerisms are different now. He's definitely filing that away as new data, though. Dave is grouchy about Vince giving away the homeworld, and then we're interrupted by a naked manwere wearing a cone of shame running down the street. Which means no more information for you, Duke, but what you can piece together on your own, as the other three leave to go contain the, ah, situation, Dwight with this sigh again? look going. Of course this is right as Duke finds Audrey's deadline for sticking around Haven, so we don't get that reveal until the end of the ep. Unless you're paying enough attention to catch the headline, The Hunter Meteor Storm, and now we know the Hunter isn't a who, it's a what. That does, by the way, appear to have been copied straight out of the Wiki on the Orionids [link], with the exception that the date of the "most active time of the meteor" shower has been shifted from 2009 to 2010, or the year that Haven started airing. REALLY, YOU GUYS? At least I assume that was deliberate, because otherwise the juxtaposition of Lucy's disappearance with the 2010 date makes no damn sense. Even by Haven standards. I also wish to file a complaint with management about the part where the radiant of the shower is located between Orion and Gemini; if Dave and Vince aren't creepily Twin-like in a more archetypal sense of the word I don't know who IS.

That's a fascinating theory you've got there, Audrey, and I have to say it's probably accurate. If you're not going to keep animals for meat, your options diminish rapidly, and it's easier to just forbid that you keep them at all as opposed to explaining the Troubles to each successive generation, one of whom will inevitably not believe you. It sounds like somehow or another despite not raising farm animals, both the prior generations found out about their Trouble the hard way, though. Thank you for FINALLY telling us why you were going to have the dog put down, Tor. And thank you Nathan for stating the obvious incredibly uncomfortable truth. Before they can speculate further, Claire comes out after what I would assume is a full search of the house, since she was in there awhile, to announce that Liam's missing. Everyone leaps to the automatic conclusion, or at least everyone but Tor, and Nathan rubs it in his face some more. If anyone out of this lot needs therapy? It's Nathan. I'm just saying. I'm beginning to believe that part of Audrey's supernatural wossit is the ability to stay relatively sane in the face of all kinds of horrors, actually, because that's not normal. Not even with FBI training in her fake-background makeup. Claire makes a bad job of explaining how dogs work, though this isn't too awful as compared to later. Stick to humans, okay? I can see where the concern comes from, but Liam's not exactly buried when we do find him. You don't bury things that are alive. (Or pack members, as Kitty points out. Even with the effects of rabies Jesse's aware of this, he just believes that he's best suited to protecting Liam, which is quite ENOUGH dementia to be going on with.) Tor gets hauled out of his despair long enough to provide semi-useful information - good in that it's a place to start looking, bad in that it covers a LOT of ground.

I appreciate the callout of Claire not wearing the right clothes for going tramping through miles of woods. I also think Audrey's overstating her case for how far the manweres could have gotten, given that Jesse would have either been restricted by Liam's pace or forced to carry him. Either would slow him down. We learn a little more about Claire, both how she approaches her work and how she approaches her life overall, because I do not for one second buy the explanation of providing normality to her clients. Not as a complete story, the suit also functions as armor and as a method of distancing herself. Young, pretty professional? Undoubtedly needs that kind of distancing, as well as the boost to her self-confidence that professional clothes give her. She does, at least, look comfortable in those clothes when she's not in rough terrain, so I'll assume that either she naturally is or has trained herself to feel comfortable in businesswear. The pack surrounds them! Though they don't attack, they're waiting on Jesse. Who really does seem to be the alpha, which I do not understand, since most dogs will turn on a sick dog and drive him out of the pack so as NOT TO INFECT THE REST, not allow him to be alpha. That one I have to blame on the writers, not the Troubles, because Doylistically speaking this ep works best if Jesse's the alpha. I'm still gonna grumble, me and my years of having German Shepherds and hanging around other large working/guard breeds.

This whole thing wants to be shot like a Mexican standoff and is a little too jerky even for that, mimicking Jesse's mental state and probably to an extent Tor's. Overall it indicates the extremely bizarre nature of this standoff. That's a nice bit of connecting the dots on Nathan's part, that the manweres are mimicking human behavior inasmuch as they've seen it. (I suspect it also tells us something about how humans in these dogs' pasts treated them. I think I'll let Jesse's growl speak for me.) I would love to know where the HELL that loaded gun was being kept, given Liam. Granted, we've seen that the manweres have the strength to do things beyond normal human capabilities, so it's possible Jesse just broke the gun safe, but I'm going to be preemptively cranky at Tor on principle. And he doesn't want them to shoot the dog. Manwere. Whatever. Claire has an epiphany! I like that someone else can figure out how a person's Trouble works, I don't like that it's being shoved down our throats. Even if I can justify it by saying that Claire's had the luxury of being able to focus solely on behavioral patterns, whereas Audrey has to worry about half a dozen other things. Though she picks up the explanation pretty fast and runs with it, rather than questioning where the hell Claire gets the right to tell her how to do her job, thereby officially making Audrey a better person than I am. Nathan and Audrey take up flanking positions just in case, though, because they're not stupid. (Well, they are about their relationship, but I'll get to that.) I have so, so, SO many issues with this next bit of the scene. Ranging from rabid dogs don't work that way to you do not, NOT, make yourself smaller than the dog unless you WANT to acknowledge its dominance. Oh my god this is basic knowledge, and while Tor doesn't have cause to know better, everyone else DOES. Especially Claire, since they're setting her up as knowing something about dog behavior. At least they figure out that the Trouble is touch-triggered, which is useful as a data point, and now we have the tragic death scene. Which... really isn't all that tragic to me, except inasmuch as Tor could have done something and chose not to. Rabies isn't a disease to fuck around with; I'm just as glad that Jesse died when he turned back rather than them having to shoot the dog. It's kind of the best of a bad set of options.

Apparently one touch will do it, though, since when Patient Zero turns back all the others do too, and we get an adorable shot of dogs in clothes running off into the forest. Those are some damn patient and well-trained dogs they got in for this scene, I will say. Tor will now freak the fuck out over his missing son, while everyone else stands there trying to think of solutions. Thank you, Audrey, for the obvious answer of "hey, a dog that's been raised by humans, used to have a human brain until moments ago, let's see how the tracking nose works with that combination." I'm still not at ALL sure how "you're amazing" and "you need therapy" connect up in Claire's head and I have to agree with Audrey on the listening to herself when she talks. This isn't even touching the torrent of babble that comes out after that, since Claire doesn't seem to have an off button once she gets going. For all her fine degrees, she seems to have skipped the practicum because she violates patient confidentiality left right and center, and if I were Audrey I wouldn't go to her for any kind of therapy either. In one fell swoop she has undermined all the confidence Audrey might have been building in her abilities and she should be undermining the confidence we, the viewing audience, have in her as a trustworthy person. She barely knows Audrey, reputation or no, and she's dribbling other people's secrets all over her. This is not the mark of a good therapist, -yatrist, -ologist, or social worker. This is the mark of a young woman who wants desperately to be taken seriously and can't quite seem to figure out how to accomplish it. I realize the writers are trying to introduce a new character here, and I desperately hope they have a plan for her that justifies all the mistakes in protocol she's made, and all the things she's known for no readily apparent Watsonian reason. I will also say that none of the other characters are treating her as though she is anything but a well-read and well-trained newcomer. But this violation of several people's trust takes the biscuit and runs with it, I think.

Back at the Herald, Vince and Dave argue briefly, and it's very telling that Dave calls him Crocker, not Duke. He sees the bloodline, not the person, which fits in with our assessment of him as potentially inclined to use Duke and shove him down the path he's been avoiding so assiduously. This does not exactly give me warm fuzzies. Nor does the part where Vince says they may need "everybody," and I'd love to know what his definition of everybody is. I'd also like to know why the hell there's a sarcophagus in their back room, seriously, the hell? More importantly, the unsub from last ep "already knows about" the Teagues, though what there is to know WE still don't know. Just that they have a metal storage cabinet (which isn't exactly secure, lending credence to the theory that they've been relying on Haven's collective amnesia regarding 27 years ago) with a safe, a bunch of papers, probably some photos in there. And a bolt-gun-shaped hole. Vince, how long have you known about this robbery? Just today, or ever since it happened and you were waiting for the opportune moment to use it? I would buy either. The brothers exchange a worried, I would say downright scared, look, and we cut to...

...Duke, also looking worried as he sits outside Audrey's place waiting for her. Maybe not just waiting for her, since I don't think he could have known her exact schedule of taking the dog out, but that's definitely a part of it. Waiting, and thinking about what he's learned. And the writers are making astronomy dance a little tune to suit their own needs, or else Duke's got it wrong. Or this is a sign, like many that King throws into his stories, that this is Not Our World. Because in this world, the Orionids happen every year, but they're tied to Halley's Comet. Happening every 27 years is inaccurate - if this is intended to be a tiny little town that has Troubles but is otherwise present in the world we know. Audrey is as freaked out by the news that this is what will (presumably, to the best of anyone's available knowledge) cause her to disappear. Nobody likes being disappeared, even constructs intended to help a town through strange supernatural occurrences every 27 years. Especially when there's nothing to say what happens in the intervening time. Despite not wanting to know, Audrey knows she needs the answer, so she takes a breath and asks how long she has, much in the manner of a patient asking "how long" on a fatal diagnosis. Two months, apparently, or 49 days if we're being precise. So a little less. Duke really, really hates this. All of it, the part where he's going to lose his friend and the part where he has to tell her this and the part where he doesn't have any more information for her. Poor everyone. We get a rare moment of Duke touching Audrey in comfort rather than in the middle of fending off manifestations of the Troubles/avoiding getting sickled, though it's still a just-friends arm-squeeze. And then he heads off rather than have the bickering confrontation with Nathan that's sure to happen, which more than anything is a solid indicator of how upset he is, that he doesn't feel he can pull that off reliably (or deal with Nathan's sniping) without letting the cat out of the bag. That's impressive, too, that he's letting Audrey pick whether or not to tell Nathan herself; for someone whose preferred MO is to fling his emotions (or the useful ones) all over the landscape, Duke does know when to shut up and walk away from a situation.

Nathan likes dogs, I take it, making me wonder even more about childhood desires and/or arguments with the Chief. That's the biggest smile we've seen on him, bigger than Nathan with the babies back in season 1, far more reminiscent of Lucas Bryant in the gag reel than our usual stoic somber Nathan Wuornos. Instead of taking Cookie out, with the info from Duke Audrey's decided she can't keep a dog. Understandable, if heartbreaking. She kicks Tor in the head with some common sense for a bit, probably a good decision given that he could use some reinforcement when not out of his head with worry over his son. And now we will have some painfully awkward moments in which Nathan clearly knows something's up, gives her opportunities both by way of leading questions and by way of long silences to explain what's going on, and she doesn't take them. Sigh. Hopefully she will soon! I do understand wanting to think on it further, as overprotective and overbearing as Nathan's been lately. It still irritates me that in theory, these two are attracted to each other, want more than a working relationship, and refuse to communicate. Audrey, Nathan is an object lesson, not a role model. Ditto the Chief.

Next time on Haven: we're not sure what, but it looks like a more standard MOW ep. Which undoubtedly means that they'll drop random metaplot on us from the blue! YAY. Because you all wanted to read more 8-10K rambles, right?


  1. Just found your blog, and am loving the Haven recaps. I don't know if anyone else had commented on the reference when Dwight and Duke arrived at the Haven Herald. They referred to Dave and Vince as Bartles and Jaymes. In the late 80s there were a series of wine cooler commercials with two older men named Bartles and James.

    1. Oh! No, no one else had, THANK you. The familiarity of that was bugging us, and we couldn't find the right search terms or spellings for Google to tell us what it was. And this is why we love our clever readers, thanks for that! :)

    2. No problem! I use to love those silly commercials so I got a giggle out of that reference.